tv The Situation Room CNN November 9, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PST
>> at least we now know the president -- there's the closing bell. the president and the head of the senate and the house will be at the white house next friday to talk about this fiscal cliff and compromise. allison kosik, thank you. i'm going to send things up to wolf blitzer. situation room begins right now. plus, remarkable video of a very rare moment. president obama gets emotional to the point of wiping away tear the. we want to welcome our viewers around the united states and the world. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room".
it is important breaking news this hour. the shocking resignation of the cia director germ david petraeus, stepping down because of an extramarital affair. here's part of the message he sent to employees this afternoon. after being married for over 37 years, i showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. this afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation. let's get right to our cnn intelligence correspondent suzanne kelly. pretty shocking information from all we know. what else are you learning? >> right. well, wolf, i don't think i can
emphasize what a bombshell this was yesterday. in the letter that was sent to employees at the cia, this is the first they were hearing about what's obviously been going on for a while. and of course while we can't ask general pa traeurs what's going on, there are a few more nuggets that he sent out to the workforce today. he quoted teddy roosevelt when he said one of life's greatest gifts is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. these are petraeus's own words. he said i will always treasure my opportunity to have done that and i will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end. so as you reported, wolf, as we now know, he's stepping down as director. he's held it over just a year now, head of the cia, because of an extramarital affair. >> who is the acting director going to be? >> it's going to be acting director who has been the former deputy director mike morell, career intelligence professional. he's been at the cia for years.
his entire career. he has helped see through the if there's anything consistent here, it's been morell's leadership at different ranks within the leadership of the cia, different levels. he's had the top job now for a while though. and if there's any sort of sign that things at the cia is going to be business as usual after they get over the shock of all of this, i think you're going to see that leadership come through from mike morell. >> if he becomes the acting director, he could become the full-time director if the president wants him to be the full-time director. other names already circulating though, aren't they? >> they are. and obviously it's speculation and something this early nobody knows for sure. but you know, john brennan is somebody considered for this by the president from the very beginning. however, there were concerns over whether or not because of his sort of hard line on intelligence issues in the past that he would be able to pass
congressional confirmation for this job which is something you need to do. you don't need to do that however in the job that he holds now and advising the president on counterterrorism issues. it's a possibility the president would try to push that through again. jane harman is another name we've heard. she is now of course head of the wilson center. she's been very close to th intelligence community for a numb of years. she's also very passionate about what they do over there and she hasn't tried very hard to hide that passion over the years. so she's another name we're hearing. but of course as the d and people sort of come back from the reeling shock of this announcement today, i think that will flush out a little bit better. >> jane harman was a member of the house intelligence committee for a long time. a long-time member of the house of representatives before leaving to become the head of the woodrow wilson center for scholars here in washington. suzanne kelly, thanks very much. just a while ago the white house released this written statement from president obama. let me read from part of it "by any measure david petraeus has
made our nation safer and stronger. today, i accepted his resignation as director of the central intelligence agency and i am completely confidence that the cia will continue to thrive and carry. let's talk a little more about what's going on, the breaking news. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is standing by. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr is standing by. and our chief political analyst gloria borger is standing by. gloria, let me start with you. you just spoke with some people up on the hill. what are they saying? >> i just spoke with diane finestein. she calls this a tragic story for a human being. she says people may start saying he's a scapegoat for benghazi and the controversy in benghazi. she says that is absolutely false. she said i know what the personal story is here. it is not a coverstory. what she did say to me, wolf, is that she didn't understand why the immediate departure.
you know, there are congressional hearings that are coming up next week. mr. morell will be testifying on behalf of the central intelligence agency. she says there are going to be at least three hearings and they will continue to ask who did what when and what was missing. but she said this is a deeply personal story for him. he made an egregious personal mistake. and at this point she has not given any thought to who she believes should replace him because she herself just learned about this at about the same time we did, maybe a little bit before i would venture. >> jessica, how did the president find out about this? >> reporter: hi, wolf. well, the president met with general petraeus yesterday and was told not only that he wanted to resign but also the circumstances surrounding the request for the resignation. and then i'm told that the president accepted the resignation today by phone. so obviously he gave it one day
and overnight before formally accepting that resignation. a blow no doubt to the administration. no matter what the dynamics between the cia and the white house or the larger politics, right now you don't want to start into a second term with this kind of blow. and also general petraeus, a general that the united states of america has enormous respect for, wolf. >> let me go fo barbara starr at the pentagon. barbara, you obviously know general petraeus, you've spoken to him on many occasions, you've interviewed him, you know his wife, holly. i assume like all of us you were totally shocked. >> totally shocked, wolf. i have seen in private circumstances away from the television cameras david and holly petraeus in enormously respectful situations. real genuine husband and wife relationships. i can tell you that holly petraeus had become a bit of a
powerhouse here in her own right developing a bit of expertise in consumer finance protection for military families. something she knows a lot about, something she worked both in and out of the federal government on. and let's face it, this is a woman who is a military wife for 37 years, raised a family, saw her husband leave for a good chunk of time in recent years. their own son served in southern afghanistan in some of the roughest neighborhoods of the war. holly petraeus knows what military wives and military families go through during these separations. this is something she has seen over the years. very difficult situation, really hard to explain. he was always the four-star general even while he was cia director. perhaps as so many four-star generals in the past became a bit isolated, a bit too much surrounded by close confidants, maybe didn't see the big picture or the stress he might have been under perhaps. >> perhaps.
gloria, you know a lot of folks are immediately talking about the timing of this resignation. >> right. >> coming just a few days after the president was re-elected. coming just on the eve of major hearings involving the benghazi. >> right. >> -- the failed operation over there. what are you hearing? >> that's the one question senator finestein had. she says i don't understand the timing of this. she pointed out, yes, there are hearings coming up next week. she does -- there are questions about that. what she did say is kind of interesting to me about general petraeus is that she said he actually loved the job. she said he had a big design for the job. and that he had just returned from a five-day trip to the middle east. and she also had a point and i think she's seen a lot of this over the course of her long career which is she said the transition to civilian life is very hard when you're a general whose got medals from your shoulder down to your belt. and he was in a different environment at the cia. constantly being questioned.
things being thrown at him. when you're a general, not so much. so she thinks there may have been a real adjustment for him. and i asked her whether she thought the white house would be sorry to see him go given the fact as jessica pointed out there has been friction between the general and the white house. she said they should be sorry. >> jessica, it's so tragic when you think about general petraeus had a sterling reputation out there for what he did during his service in iraq and then later in afghanistan, ph.d. from princeton university, scholar and general, probably the last person you would have thought something like this could happen. are they giving any additional information? was this information about this extramarital affair about to be released from some news organization or some tabloid which is perhaps why he did this now? >> i haven't heard anything additional, wolf. it's sort of the style of the administration to be discreet when it comes to these kinds of
personal issues. i wouldn't expect anything of that nature to come from this building no matter what may have gone on. they would at all times sort of respect his privacy, allow any of that sort of information to come from him if he chooses to speak publicly about it. i know that out of this building they had respect -- have respect for his work. and even tensest times during the libya/benghazi stories unfolding always said they believe once the investigation is done the facts will bear out what the story they were saying publicly was all along. so i do not think that they are at any point going to -- d.c. parliament's going to throw him under the bus so to speak and wouldn't out him on any personal matters, wolf. >> graduate of westpoint and also a ph.d. from princeton university, general petraeus retired u.s. army general petraeus no longer the cia
director leaving under these circumstances. we're going to have much more on what's going on including more details, the personal character of general petraeus for the man who literally wrote the book on general petraeus and other generals. standby for that. and the president and house speaker, they stake out their opening positions in a very high stakes effort to prevent painful spending cuts and tax increases. lots of news happening today right here in "the situation room." hey miwhat are you up to? oh, just diagramming this accident with my state farm pocket agent app. you can also get a quote and pay your premium with this thing. i thought state farm didn't have all those apps? where did you hear that? the internet. and you believed it? yeah. they can't put anything on the internet that isn't true. where did you hear that? [ both ] the internet. oh look. here comes my date. i met him on the internet. he's a french model. uh, bonjour. [ male announcer ] state farm. more mobile than ever. get to a better state.
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>> honestly, i'm not that shocked. you put an officer out there on repeated tours in iraq and afghanistan -- he's done like four or five years out there. he's a human being. if he doesn't slip, i'd be surprised. i think what we have today is shocking proof that general david petraeus is a human being. >> he made a huge mistake. is it a mistake big enough for him to decide he's going to resign as a result of this extramarital affair? >> i'm told that president obama told him that he didn't need to. that they had a long conversation about it. and obama said, you know, i understand that you're troubled by this and so on, but i'm not sure you need to go. and petraeus' attitude is, no, it's a matter of honor. i did something deeply dishonorable and now i must balance it by doing an honorable thing. the only thing about petraeus and obama, i know petraeus much better than i know obama, they strike me as very similar men. they're both intellectual, a little bit more remote than other people in their chosen
professions. i always thought they kind of had irreconcilable differences. i think they've gotten over their friction and come to a position of trust over the last year especially as obama really came to understand that petraeus was not interested in running for president. >> i don't think it was interested in running for president. but other people speculated he might be. do you believe he felt -- the timing of this, my suspicion from the beginning was this information one way or another was about to come out and he decided he would do the right thing, he would release it instead of letting someone else whether from a news organization or anybody else release this information that would be so embarrassing to him. >> i think you're on the right track. now, i'm getting into speculation here. but there's a trial going on right now down at fort bragg. there have been rumors that if i'm going down, facing charges of sodomy, extramarital affair,
the rumors were in the army he said if i'm going down, i'm taking other people with me. he's going down this week. he's on trial this week. he may end up doing time. so i've got to wonder whether there's a connection between the fort bragg trial and the timing of general petraeus' resignation. >> you think it has anything at all to do with benghazi? that was immediately cia obviously was involved in what was turned out to be a disaster in benghazi. there are hearings scheduled next week. he was supposed to testify before senator feinstein and the immediate speculation was maybe he's going to resign in advance of that. >> i wouldn't be surprise first-degree he agred if he did agree to testify and explain where i was at. something about washington now when we hear somebody resign because of an extramarital affair, people immediately suspect it's a cover story for something else. i think what you see here is what you get. a man who felt he did the wrong thing and must suffer the consequenc
consequences. >> take us inside that military mindset. i know especially westpoint grads, they have this tradition of doing the right thing, honor if you will, and if you screw up, as you point out, do the honorable thing and try to fix it. >> and petraeus really does pride himself on being a leader. i think what he wants in life is to be a great captain. i think he'd still love to be chairman of the joint chiefs. i don't know if that's possible now given this. don't forget, not only is petraeus a career military person, his wife a career military wife. they met at west point when her father was superintendent of west point. so she is the daughter of a general, married to a general, steeped in the same culture, the same traditions. my heart actually goes out to both of them today. >> yeah. such a sad, sad story. now, in the intelligence community, which is obviously very different than the military, they tell all these intelligence officers, cia officers, clandestine operatives, be very careful of what they used to call hunting traps, getting involved in an
extramarital affair because you don't know if that woman or maybe that man could be an agent of a hostile foreign power. and they always warn these men and women be very, very careful. i assume when he got caught if in fact he had gotten caught in this extramarital affair if somebody more junior in the cia would have been caught they would have been forced out as well. >> i don't think so. my guess is at the cia, if you haven't had an affair, you're not considered a player. i think actually what happened here is something out of petraeus' past he didn't expect to come back and bite him did because somebody who knew him from the military was looking for a little vengeance. >> so that's the sad story that's unfolding. what do you think, he's going to come back out of all of this? will he just retire, fade away? or do you think there's a future for him some place? >> i don't think david petraeus is ever going to fade away. i think he would like to be president of princeton and ironically the job is coming open. >> got a ph.d. from princeton and also a graduate of west
point. tom ricks, thanks very much for coming in. excellent new book "the gener s generals," recommended highly to our viewers around the world. >> thanks very much. the country is racing towards a potential financial crisis, can house speaker john boehner and the president find an onslaught of spending cuts and tax hikes? stay with us. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't work on runny noses. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have an antihistamine. really? [ male announcer ] really. alka-seltzer plus cold and cough fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a fast acting antihistamine to relieve your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions...
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more coming up on the breaking news we're following. general petraeus resigning from the cia because of an extramarital affair. much more coming up as well on the stakes involving the so-called fiscal cliff. lots of news happening today here in "the situation room." but other news we're following including people in the northeast, they may finally be
getting a break from the bad weather and long gas lines. lisa sylvester's monitoring that and some other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on? >> hi, wolf. just two days after a snowstorm tore through the northeast, new york and new jersey are seeing temperatures rise into the 50s. but that may be little relief for thousands of people who are still without power after the nor'easter and superstorm sandy. gas rationing is now in effect in parts of new york and new jersey to reduce long lines. gas stations are remaining open longer and drivers can only buy gas on alternate days. thousands of terrified syrian civilians are fleeing into turkey as fighting rages near the border between both countries. the violence has turkey's military on high alert. syrian rebels are claiming victory against syria's military at a keyboard border town. seized syrian government buildings and captured control of a border crossing into turkey. chrysler is recalling nearly one million of jeep suvs in the u.s., canada, mexico and other countries. it wants to fix a faulty control
part that could cause air bags to inflate while the vehicles are in motion. the recall affects jeep grand cherokees for the model years 2002 through 2004 and liberty suvs for the model years 2002 and 2003. of course other big news you're following as well, wolf. >> huge news, thanks very much, lisa. drawing the line, the president and the house speaker, they stake out their positions on slashing the deficit. stay with us. [ dog ] you know, i just don't think i should have to wait for it! who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans, we won't make you wait for it. our efficient, online system allows us to get you through your home loan process fast. which means you'll never have to beg for a quick closing. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. bonkers, look at me when i'm talking to you.
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call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired, have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of rare but serious side effects. ♪ is your cholesterol at goal? talk to your doctor about crestor. [ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. brand new effort to head off crushing tax increases and spending cuts and finally do something about the country's out of control deficit getting underway in earnest today. the stakes clearly are enormous. today both the house speaker, john boehner, and the president publicly signalled they're willing to compromise. listen to this. >> i want to be clear, i'm not wedded to every detail of my plan. i'm open to compromise.
i'm open to new ideas. i'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges. but i refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. i am not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes. >> clearly the deficit is a drag on our economy. and we can't continue to spend money that we don't have. i don't want to box myself in. i don't want to box anybody else in. i think it's important for us to come to an agreement with the president. this is his opportunity to lead. >> any word from the speaker, every word from the president being analyzed for hidden meanings. here's a quick snapshot. >> when he is not willing to negotiate on is raising taxes on
the wealthiest americans. and that is where the battle lines will be drawn. >> the president's language is important. his words, i'm not wedded to every detail. i'm open to compromise. open to new ideas. but we are not going to do something that doesn't deal with the tax cuts. >> i think the tone of this is pretty good especially from the speaker this morning when he said, you know, i'm not going to box myself in. and i don't want to box the president in. >> let's get straight to our own kate bolduan, she's here with an excellent, excellent panel. >> excellent, excellent. i like the double excellent panel of unsolicited advice today. more about the fiscal cliff, financial crisis, fiscal hill, whatever you want to call it today. you now have president obama coming out, john boehner coming out, both talking compromise, conciliatory, congenial, i guess the first question is, do these public statements even though we know they happen, do they help, ana, or do they hurt when you're really trying to strike a deal?
>> well, we really heard very good positive words come out of both their mouths. only in washington can you have a situation where both parties are saying compromise, deal, open and it turn into nothing. but, you know, it certainly is much more hopeful than if they were having a public cat fight right now. it seems to me there's a public courting going on. there's a lot of smoking of peace pipes. there's a lot of olive branches being extended. let's see what that turns into. the devil's in the details. but so far i'd say that it's more hopeful than pessimistic. >> and the devil is always in the details. the main sticking point -- i mean, i was dealing with this a year and a half ago, we all were, the main sticking point is still taxes. if the sticking point is still taxes, raise them, don't raise them, talking rates or just tax bills in general, are we any -- has anything changed? or are we in the same place we were a year and a half ago? >> another election, so another few days of drama. this is drama ala hollywood at
the potomac. what happened today is the president set the parameters. i'm open to a deal. i have a grand bargain. i put all my eggs on the table. now come. come to the table with some of your jelly beans or whatever you want to call it. >> i'm picturing this table. it's kind of an amazing image. >> it's an easter meal here. so the president understands -- i think he has the upper hand because most of these tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year. >> right. >> and because of that i think the republicans must understand that the president's not willing to come to the table with an empty basket. he's saying i'm ready to do my part. it's time for you to come to the table in a balanced approach. >> and i think something has changed. you know, the election frees president obama from having to please his base. a lot of that liberal progressive base is saying let's go off that cliff. when i think they should go hang gliding and get the bravado out of their system because most the
rest of us would like to see a solution and an agreement. so i think president obama after this election is free from having to please that very liberal area of his base. and on the other hand the republican defeat i think givers john boehner an excuse, justification, an explanation and reason to come to the table and compromise. >> bringing the republicans who have been over the cliff, down in the hill, soaking in the water, bring them back up to reality. >> interesting with the eggs and jelly beans, right? >> fortunately, me and donna are not at the negotiating table. >> jump in on this. there's a real political question here. a lot of how things work in washington is who has the upper hand? who has the leverage? president obama says that the election shows that a majority of americans agree with his approach to deficit reduction. so does that mean he can get away with it's my way or the highway here? >> donna's right that he has a different kind of leverage than he had before the election because he's been re-elected. he's president for the next four years.
and if you just do nothing, then i mean you go over the cliff as everyone says, but more importantly from a republican perspective, taxes go up on everybody. the rich, the middle class, working class and so on. so he clearly has more leverage. i think the big question in figuring out a compromise is republicans above all don't want to raise tax rates. they tend to be more open to raising revenue through reforms to the tax code. and there's a kind of ironic possibility here where the idea that mitt romney floated during the campaign of setting a limit on how many deductions people can claim, right? you can only deduct up to $15,000 a year or something. that's a reform that would effectively raise taxes on the rich because the rich are more likely to claim deductions past that point without raising rates. so in a weird way you can imagine barack obama and john boehner sitting down -- >> embracing the mitt romney approach. >> do you think that could pass the pledge litmus test? >> i think the question so
grover norquist who i think is going to be a guest shortly on cnn -- i mean, people can ask him, but the pledge is you can't raise tax rates basically. but because the tax rates are scheduled to expire no matter what, so if you do nothing, it's a massive tax increase. you can imagine republicans saying, look, we forestalled this massive tax increase so we haven't broken our pledge. >> at least two big pieces that we're talking about here that make me a little bit more pessimistic than most people despite the very nice tone that's come up. one is what we've talked about, which is the issue of -- >> won't be so pessimistic -- >> of $1 revenue from those at the higher end. and you can talk about rates or deductions, but there's a revenue question. the second where i feel like the two parties are actually going in different directions is whether we want a grand bargain or not. and the president clearly wants a big deal. he wants a big deficit reduction deal. he's talked about $4 trillion. he's wanted that for a while. it's a legacy issue and he thinks the right thing to do for the economy. where boehner is saying let's deal with this in 2013. he's actually trying to get this
off the lame duck altogether, which is the way to ensure there's not a big deal. so in addition to the question about whether we are going to see a ball loance of revenues a spending cuts is whether we're going to get a big deficit deal which the president clearly wants and thinks is important. what you're hearing from boehner and mcconnell in washington speak is we don't want a deal, we don't want to go off the cliff and the only thing left is to punt. and i think that's a dangerous place as well because this is the issue one of the few times congress might be forced to actually do its job and get a budget passed for the american people. so when this question comes up about the bigger issue are we going to get a deal or not, what i'm hearing from boehner is no and the president yes. >> but the president's leverage doesn't go away if you punt for six months. i mean, it's not clear to me -- i agree with you that's one way to read the boehner/mcconnell position. >> you do the blue ribbon panel, try to make it binding, do the supercommittee -- >> need to know because after all at the end of january most
americans will like to start filing for their refunds. that's why we have to do something. and the other thing we failed to mention over and over about these so-called bush tax cuts is that they have helped increase the deficit over the last ten years. we simply cannot afford to continue to have the rates that we have now. i think the president needs to go in there -- he has a strong hand. he got that hand from the voters. and the republicans need to come to the table willing to compromise. >> six more months of uncertainty not in this fragile -- >> we need a deal now. a deal now. >> i can wait six months. >> okay. everybody hold on one second. up next our unsolicited advice panel will offer their unsolicited advice to some poor, poor unsuspecting targets. it's hard to see opportunity in today's challenging environment. unless you have the right perspective. bny mellon wealth management has the vision and experience to look beyond the obvious.
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we're back to offer our final bits of unsolicited advice for the week. and i will start with donna. >> well, my advice is to lawmakers regardless of partisanship. the notion of seeing voters in line two, three, four hours, in florida i saw a woman today she was in line for five hours to cast her ballot. that is immoral, that's wrong, it's shameful. let people vote. we have four years to clean up the election process. let people vote. and for all you americans who stayed in line, thank you. >> it is pretty amazing. this is your state. >> and i can tell you i have had conversations with the governor, with the mayor of miami-dade, with the incoming speaker of the florida legislature, i think they are all very aware of the problems. look, i don't think it was an attempt at voter suppression, but i think it looked and
smelled like voter suppression. and in politics perception is reality. i think it was bureaucratic ineptitude. >> look at the precincts. majority of precincts the wait was three, four, five hours. nonmajority precincts it was 15, 20 minutes. >> remember miami-dade minority precincts could be super cuban, super -- >> this is one of the reasons it has to get solved. it's started to effect everybody. while i believe it was targeted towards minority communities and unpartisan terms and young people, the effect now is everybody. and people look at this and say why in 2012 do we still have to vote on one day in one particular way when people are working two jobs -- >> technology so advanced how is it possible this is actually happening. go ahead, ross. your unsolicited advice. >> after something as serious as that, mine's a little lighter. it's for political junkies. the viewers who made cnn the
most-watched network on election night. >> we thank you all. >> hitting refresh on my colleague's blog at the times. this weekend we have veterans day coming up, it's the end of the campaign season, you can take a break. i know the fiscal cliff is looming, i know david petraeus had an extramarital affair, there's plenty of stuff to follow. you can relax, unwind, talk to your wife and kids. life can go on. but keep your television tuned to cnn. >> thank you. had to make sure we said that. >> call the military families and thank them. take some time. >> exactly. >> ana. >> my advice to david petraeus. you can't suffer from potomac fever. if you're going to be in public service, if you're going to be in a job where you have secret service the entire time, in a job where you have access to national security information, folks, zip it. keep the gun in the holster. we cannot continue having these scandals. >> i have a feeling that the congressman does not want to follow-up on that.
>> keep the candy in the wrapper. >> okay. your analogies can stop. go ahead, congressman. >> back to the issue -- >> not a single comment from the men around this table. >> or from me. i would like to move on as well. congressman. >> the fiscal cliff conversation is incredibly important to the american people. and i think the president would be well-served to take this conversation outside the beltway to the american people. i think people will rise to the occasion of looking at the facts. this effects every tax rate, it effects spending across the board, it affects our deficit for a long period to come. i think the american people are much more reasonable than congress is and that the quality of the deal in the conversation will be better if we're engaging main streets and not just wall street and k street here in washington to get a better deal. it's an important moment. yes -- >> take my advice they won't be paying any attention. >> take the weekend off and then come back and get serious about this. it is a very important national conversation. for those who did vote, for those who did go and organize, don't think election day ends that.
this conversation continues into this lame duck session. very important national debate. i hope the president helps take it out there. >> i promise you we will be covering it to the bitter end if we must. wolf, a pretty mixed bag of unsolicited advice today. >> as usual. >> as usual. >> thank you. thank you very, very much. members of an elite navy s.e.a.l.s. team in serious hot water with the united states military over a video game and it could mean the end of their careers. [ male announcer ] can a car be built around a state of mind?
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us. brian, what do you know? >> wolf, the navy is sending very strong signals right now that it's just about had it with this kind of thing. an avalanche of publicity in the recent months of a group of navy s.e.a.l.s., one of the most secretive unit in the military. consulted for only about two days on the making of this video game, but it was short work that cost them their careers. you're in their eyes as they sprint through dangerous terrain, dodge explosions, gun down their enemies. the new video game "metal of honor" war fighter from electronic arts brags it gives you experience of fighting with s.e.a.l.s. team six and losing their pay for two months and likely their careers. at least one of those s.e.a.l.s. was on the raid that killed osama bin laden last year. a navy official says the seven all active duty have been reprimanded for giving up classified information to the makers of the game when they worked as paid consultants. what do you think they gave up? >> well, i wasn't part of the
game -- making the game, but i heard they might have showed their equipment they've used. for some people that might not seem like a big deal, but you put information here together with information there and you can get information to put people in harm's way. >> reporter: he is a former navy s.e.a.l.s. who served ten years. he says one big problem with what these s.e.a.l.s. did was that it was not authorized by their commanders. but the problems go beyond that. this episode adds more controversy over s.e.a.l.s. capitalizing on their reputation. john mcguire's got an outdoor fitness business based on his experience. he had to clear the name 14 years ago with the navy. there was a recent movie featuring real active duty knave s.e.a.l.s., that was cleared by the pentagon. but there was also a book written by a former s.e.a.l.s. who was on the bin laden raid, the pentagon complained about that for revealing secret information. plus, two controversial movies this fall detailing the covert bin laden raid. when news of those movies came out, one former s.e.a.l.s. said it was already too much publicity. >> it's gotten out of hand.
there's entirely too much being discussed about a community that lives on the fact that it's a group of folks that thrive on a concept called silent pride. >> reporter: the s.e.a.l.s. lives are secret. their identities classified. still, one former s.e.a.l.s. disputes the notion that the video game gave much away. he says raids of militants compounds have not suggested they use video games for intel. >> we found a lot of porn, no video games. so this is not going to be used as a tool to aid al qaeda and the taliban in their terrorist agenda. >> but the pentagon is apparently determined to send a message to all the s.e.a.l.s., these seven were disciplined in front of most of the members of their team. four others transferred to another unit and are still under investigation. wolf. >> and what do i hear there's another movie, yet another movie about to be made or in the process of being made about navy s.e.a.l.s.? >> just as all this blows up, yes, they're going to be dramatized in an upcoming film about the rescue of the alabama
the containership the captain kidnapped off the coast of somalia in 2009. there's a movie out about that. the fact of the matter is, wolf, the public loves these movies. they can't get enough of these stories. it's going to be a struggle in coming years between national security and the public's veracious appetite. >> thanks very much. a side of the president we hardly get to see. the president sheds tears in front of his campaign staff. >> i'm really proud of them. [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role
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opening of a first permanent mission in poland. in bulgaria orthodox believers light candles to pay tribute to the late patriarch. santa and his helpers answer letters from children in the post office. in india, maple trees change colors as autumn comes to an end. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. president obama normally is very cool, relatively private. he's not prone to big displays of public emotion. all of which makes this coming video you're about to see so rare. it was taken wednesday, the day after his re-election, when the president stopped by his chicago campaign headquarters. >> i come here and i look at all of you what comes to mind is it's not that you guys actually remind me of myself. it's the fact that you are so much better than i was in so many ways. you're smarter, and you're
better organized. and you're more effective. and so i'm absolutely confident that all of you are going to do just amazing things in your lives. and what bobby kennedy calls the ripples of hope that come out when you throw a stone in the lake, that's going to be you. i'm just looking around the room and i'm thinking where will you guys end up? in what states, capacities, private sector, not for profit, somebody who decides to go into public service, you're just going to do great things. and that's why even before last night's results i felt that the work that i had done in running for office had come full circle because what you guys have done
means that the work that i'm doing is important. i'm really proud of that. i'm really proud of all of you. [ applause ] what you guys -- what you guys accomplished will go on in history and people will read about it and they'll marvel about it. the most important thing you need to know is that your journey's just beginning. you're just starting. and whatever good we do over the next four years, will pail in comparison to what you guys end up accomplishing for years and years to come. >> that was video released by the obama campaign.
and you're in "the situation room." happening now, the head of the cia resigns over an extramarital affair. republicans blindsided by mitt romney's loss, how did so many get it so wrong? and anger boiling over new york -- over in new york where gas is now being rationed and thousands of people -- thousands are still without power. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin this hour with a bombshell announcement rocking the intelligence community and sending shock waves across washington and way beyond. david petraeus, the highly decorated u.s. army general who's run the central
intelligence agency for the last 14 months has suddenly resigned citing an extramarital affair. our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence is joining us now with more. chris, you have more details. what can you tell our viewers? >> wolf, we can tell you that david petraeus sent this letter to the rest of the cia this afternoon admitting that he had an affair and telling the cia that he had gone to the white house yesterday and asked president obama to accept his resignation. we're also told that president obama was initially opposed to accepting that resignation. but david petraeus felt it was a matter of honor. we're also told that the fbi had been alerted to this and was looking into this issue in the small picture it means david petraeus will not testify next week in many of those committees on the situation in benghazi and what happened. it means that his number two will now take over the cia on an interim basis. and it really throws the
president's national security team into a bit of flux just days after the election. [ technical difficulties ] >> unfortunately that tape is not working right now. we're going to try to fix that problem. and let me just underscore, chris, how significant this is right now in terms of not only the intelligence community but the u.s. military as you know general petraeus a graduate of west point, highly decorated four-star general served in iraq, was called on on an emergency basis to try to fix the situation in afghanistan, had a brilliant, brilliant career, a scholar, a professor of international affairs at west point after getting a ph.d. from princeton. this is really a shocking development for so many in the
national security community. >> and that is the reaction, wolf, that you're getting here in the pentagon today. people just surprised, shocked by what they've heard. just did not see this coming. you know, of course david petraeus you know for all of his accolades in the last ten years or so in these theaters in iraq and afghanistan, he was a 50-year-old general by the time he first set foot in combat. by the time david petraeus got his first taste of real combat, he was a 50-year-old major general. in 2003 he commanded the 101st airborne during its march on baghdad. it was in iraq that he rhetorically asked a reporter, tell me how this ends. suggesting trouble the u.s. would have there in later years. there he gained the nickname king david, used affectionately by his supporters and derisively by those who labeled him a celebrity general. in 2007, president bush appointed petraeus to lead all
troops in iraq. petraeus essentially rewrote the army field manual. and his ideas on counterinsurgency became known as the petraeus doctrine. a scandal of a different sort brought petraeus back to command another war when president obama fired general stanly mccrystal for his unflattering comments to rolling stone, obama tapped general petraeus as the man to save the afghan war effort. >> it has again been the greatest of honors to serve here. >> reporter: but because of his name recognition among the american people, petraeus was surrounded by speculation that he had political ambitions. some wondered if he'd appear on the republican presidential ticket. but petraeus knocked down those rumors. >> we're not out there running a political campaign. we're running a war. >> reporter: at his senate confirmation hearing to head the cia, petraeus admitted president obama decided to withdraw thousands of troops from afghanistan significantly faster than petraeus wanted. >> the ultimate decision was a
more aggressive formulation, if you will in terms of the timeline, than what we had recommended. >> reporter: petraeus's wife, holly, sat behind him during that testimony. and petraeus publicly praised her. >> she is a symbol of the strength and dedication of families around the globe who waited home for loved ones while they're engaged in critical work in afghanistan, iraq and elsewhere. she has hung tough while i've been deployed over five and a half years since 9/11. >> there's been praise for petraeus from both sides of the political aisle in the hours that follow this resignation senator john mccain calling him one of the greatest military generals of any time. and really if you look at the head of the senate intelligence committee, senator diane feinstein, a democrat, she said she very much regrets the fact that president obama accepted the resignation. she calls it a tremendous loss
to the intelligence community, wolf. >> there's no doubt that the whole benghazi timeline -- i know the pentagon is about to release some sort of timeline, they're getting ready for hearings next week. do you get any indication at all that general petraeus' resignation, chris, has anything to do with what happened in benghazi? >> i don't get that indication, wolf. from everything we had heard that this testimony was due to happen next week that there was nothing holding it up. and having heard the pentagon timeline this afternoon, there was nothing earth shaking in its revelations that would sort of rise to this level. so i just don't think it had anything to do with that. and i think that president obama and others fully expected that director petraeus would testify next week until this personal matter took precedence. >> thanks very much, chris lawrence, for that. let's dig a little deeper right
now on the shocking petraeus resignation with our national security contributor fran townsend. she's a member of the cia's external advisory board and knows general petraeus. i assume you were just as shocked and surprised as all of us were. >> i was, wolf. in fact, i had an appointment to be down at langley next week to help in the preparation of general petraeus for his hearing on thursday. look, i think diane feinstein whom i do not always agree with said it exactly right. >> and she's the chair of the senate intelligence committee. >> she is. and she sort of made the point this is a terrible loss for the country. i mean, putting aside what one's moral judgment may or may not be about his personal conduct, he's taken responsibility for it. he has been an extraordinary -- effective military leader. and a leader of the cia. you know, there have been tremendous successes in every command he's had. and in many respects this is a
loss for the nation. our thoughts and prayers go to he and his family. but i think it's really unfortunate. >> the author tom ricks who was here in "the situation room" in the last hour he's an authority -- he's just written a new book and knows general petraeus well. he suggested that the president actually tried to talk him out of it and said you sure this is enough for you to give up your career and go out like this? and general petraeus said, yes, this is the honorable right thing to do. that doesn't surprise you. >> it does not surprise me. i think, look, we don't -- there's a lot of things we don't know. and frankly are better left as private matters. we don't know how long the relationship was or whether it's ongoing, whether or not -- i mean, the president -- petraeus' statement talked about his career in the military and his marriage. we don't know whether or not going forward what general petraeus is going to decide together with his wife about his personal life, his professional life. and i think they need time and
space and privacy to do that. >> because you're on the advisory committee over at the cia. if a clandestine officer, a cia officer who has top secret security, knows what they call sources and methods, engages in an extramarital affair with someone who's not necessarily in the intelligence community and from the outside, we don't know who he or she may be, that potentially could be a forced resignation if you will. that goes against the rules. >> well, it does, wolf. but again, these things are handled in you hope a mature way. if the relationship of the clandestined officer is not with a member of a foreign service or foreign national -- >> you don't know that. >> that's right. but you would. in case there was a case officer or career professional who found themselves in this circumstance. >> in what they call a honey trap. >> that's right. you'd have to do an investigation to understand it. there have been clandestine officers whose careers have not been ended over that.
sometimes it's a foreign service who's actually set the honey trap unknowing to the officer. it actually requires more than a visceral reaction or a moral judgment. you need some more facts to make those decisions. >> tom ricks said this in the last hour. i'll play the clip when i asked him that specific question. well, i guess we don't have it. i'll read it to you. he says "my guess is that at the cia if you haven't had an affair, you're not considered a player." i mean, he was being sarcastic a little bit. but is there a cultural issue here you think? is there a problem here whether it's the cia or military? >> no. i think it's unfair to draw broad generalizations from a single unfortunate incident. we see this time and again. let's remember, right. president clinton had monica, newt gingrich left his wife and married his mistress. i mean, on both sides of the aisle we've seen maritalital infidelities. >> take a deep breath.
>> that's right. >> you have an idea who might replace him? >> i think there are many good names banted about. mike morell now the acting director, very respected career official at the cia. i think he would do the administration well. jane harman, former democratic member of congress and on the house intelligence committee, beloved both at langley and respected on the hill would do well sort of in the tradition of leon panetta now the defense secretary. the president's going to have lots of good choices. >> and john brennan, counterterrorism advisor formerly of the cia, his name has been mentioned as well. i don't believe there's been a female appointed the cia director. >> there hasn't been. >> there has been in britain known as m. >> no female directors of fbi, cia or directors of defense. >> this might be something the president would want to do. >> she'd be great. >> we'll see. thank you very much. president obama says a majority of americans agree with
him on how to reduce the deficit. but the house speaker john boehner is not among them. we're going to hear what both men are saying about approaching that so-called fiscal cliff. plus, why many republicans were convinced mitt romney would win. [ female announcer ] today, jason is here to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits, but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others, he gets some helpful advice. just two aleve have the strength to keep back pain away all day. today, jason chose aleve. just two pills for all day pain relief. try aleve d for strong, all day long sinus and headache relief. try aleve d for strong, all day long what if there was a new that focused less on feesy and more... on what matters? maybe your bank account is taking too much time and maybe it's costing too much money. introducing bluebird by american express and walmart. your alternative to checking and debit. it's loaded with features, not fees.
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president obama and house speaker john boehner are both laying out their opening positions ahead of negotiations to keep the united states from going over the so-called fiscal cliff. the president will meet with boehner and other congressional leaders at the white house next friday. today, in his first public remarks since election night the president said he's open to compromise. >> i want to be clear, i'm not wedded to every detail of my plan. i'm open to compromise. i'm open to new ideas. i'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges. but i refuse to accept any
approach that isn't balanced. i am not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes. i'm not going to do that. and i just want to point out this was a central question during the election. it was debated over and over again. and on tuesday night we found out that the majority of americans agree with my approach. and that includes democrats, independents and a lot of republicans across the country as well as independent economists and budget experts. that's how you reduce the deficit, with a balanced approach. so our job now is to get a majority in congress to reflect the will of the american people.
and i believe we can get that majority. i was encouraged to hear speaker boehner agree that tax revenue has to be part of this equation. so i look forward to hearing his ideas when i see him next week. and let me make one final point that every american needs to hear. right now, if congress fails to come to an agreement on an overall deficit reduction package by the end of the year, everybody's taxes will automatically go up on january 1st. everybody's including the 98% of americans who make less than $250,000 a year. that makes no sense. it would be bad for the economy and would hit families that are already struggling to make ends meet. fortunately, we shouldn't need long negotiations or drama to solve that part of the problem. while there may be disagreement in congress over whether or not to raise taxes on folks making over $250,000 a year, nobody,
not republicans, not democrats, want taxes to go up for folks making under $250,000 a year. so let's not wait. even as we're negotiating a broader deficit reduction package, let's extend the middle class tax cuts right now. let's do that right now. [ applause ] that one step, that one step would give millions of families 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses the certainty that they need going into the new year. it would immediately take a huge chunk of the economic uncertainty off the table. and that will lead to new jobs and faster growth. business will know that consumers, they're not going to see a big tax increase. they'll know that most small
businesses won't see a tax increase. and so a lot of the uncertainty that you're reading about, that will be removed. in fact, the senate has already passed a bill doing exactly this. so all we need is action from the house. and i've got the pen ready to sign the bill right away. i'm ready to do it. i'm ready to do it. >> the president of the united states speaking earlier today. the other major player in all of this, the house speaker john boehner who spoke out before the president. our congressional correspondent kate bolduan is here. she's got more on this part of the story. kate. >> speaker boehner is also talking compromise. but it is a very delicate dance. the two men are talking nice, but at least for the moment are still sticking to their very different positions. house speaker john boehner laid down his marker once again in the fight over the looming fiscal crisis saying the ball is in the president's court. >> this is an opportunity for the president to lead. this is his moment to engage the
congress and work towards a solution that can pass both chambers. >> reporter: while neither side is offering any detail of how they want to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, boehner did continue his postelection change in tone friday. >> i don't want to box myself in. i don't want to box anybody else in. i think it's important for us to come to an agreement with the president. >> reporter: republican and democratic aides tell cnn key lawmakers and committee staff have been working through various legislative scenarios for months. a senior house republican aide says that includes staff level talks between speaker boehner's office and the white house. but as with every big battle in washington, any final deal will come down to the people at the top. and the major sticking point is still taxes. the president argues any deal must include a tax increase on wealthier americans. something he campaigned on. >> we can't get this done unless we also ask the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes
on their incomes. >> reporter: speaker boehner maintains tax hikes are a no-go. >> raising tax rates will slow down our ability to create the jobs that everyone says they want. >> reporter: though he is open to raising revenue by cleaning up the tax code, closing loopholes and eliminating deductions, but the devil is in the details which of course no one has at the moment. but reading between the lines here there may be a way to maneuver. look what they're not saying. the president today did not mention an increase in tax rates specifically in his speech. so both sides could possibly claim victory by closing those loopholes and deductions to make wealthier americans pay more but not through increasing their tax rate. but again, wolf, we are a long way away from a deal at the moment. >> these negotiations only just beginning. >> yeah. >> most of them will be behind closed doors. >> sometimes that's the better thing to do. >> thank you. a huge moment for civil rights in the united states. the landmark voting rights act
of 1965 heading to the supreme court. we're going to tell you why. to, and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. if you're a man with low testosterone, you should know that axiron is here. the only underarm treatment for low t. that's right, the one you apply to the underarm. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18.
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landmark voting rights act of 1965 heading to the supreme court. lisa sylvester's back. she's monitoring that some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on here? >> this is big news, wolf. the court agreed today to decide whether a key provision in the law which gives the federal government oversight of states in areas with a history of voter discrimination is still constitutionally necessary. the case is one of the biggest the justices are expected to tackle this term. and a ruling could have huge implications for civil rights in this country. a judge has ruled that a jetblue pilot who suffered an apparent
in-flight meltdown and had to be restrained by passengers be released from the government medical center where he's being treated. the pilot can be seen on passenger cell phone video from the march incident yelling things like "we're all going down." he's being ordered to continue mental health treatment following his release. and cnn is projecting that washington state now joins two other states passing ballot measures making same sex marriage legal. voters in maine and maryland approved similar measures on election day. and maine could begin granting marriage licenses to couples as soon as next month. also on tuesday wisconsin elected the country's first openly gay senator democrat tammy baldwin. i know they were very optimistic that they could possibly get something -- gay rights akts viss were confident they might be able to get something passed in maine, now it looks like they'll get all three states. >> yeah, maryland, maine and washington state after being rejected like 30 times over the previous years. >> that's the big thing.
the reason why people say this is so historic is because it's the first time it was put to the voters, not a state legislature, but put to the voters and it won the popular vote. not just in one state but in three states now. >> thanks very much, lisa. mitt romney's loss tuesday night has left some devastated republicans scratching their heads. they're wondering how they could get it so wrong. were they in denial? we have details. [ male announcer ] can a car be built around a state of mind? ♪ announcing the all-new 2013 malibu from chevrolet. ♪ with a remarkable new interior featuring the available chevrolet mylink infotainment system. this is where sophisticated styling begins. and where it ends? that's up to you. it's here -- the greatest malibu ever. ♪
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last tuesday morning the outcome of the presidential election was certainly far from certain for either candidate. but many republicans were totally confident mitt romney would win making this loss all the more disappointing for them. lisa's back. she's working this part of the story. that false sense of optimism as it turned out, where was it coming from? >> the polls show that president obama was leading in several of the swing states, but there was a sense among some conservatives that the polling maybe it just didn't capture some of the tea party voters who don't trust the government and don't participate in these polls.
they also thought that the economy would be an issue that hurts the president. and they counted on momentum, which wasn't on their side. the optimism among conservatives was riding high starting with mitt romney's spectacular showing at the first debate. >> as he continues his final swing state push on election eve, we have the proof that his message is in fact resonating with crucial voters across the states. >> you're missing the whole thing on momentum. momentum. i'm saying that there is anywhere from three to seven points of just momentum. >> that overconfidence even if it conflicted with polling data made the letdown election night even harder for republicans to bear. following twitter and realtime on election night, you can see the deflation. this one from donald trump saying this election is a total sham and a travesty. we are not a democracy. some in the gop like carl rove simply refuse to believe that ohio had gone the president's
way and clinched his re-election. >> big swatches of butler county, delaware county and warren county all of which are republican counties that have big chunks of their vote out. >> is this just math that you do as a republican to make yourself feel better? or is this real -- >> what are your colleagues on the republican side saying? have you heard some of these saying some reports for mitt romney saying they felt blindsided. blindsided is the word i hear a lot. >> yes. i think a lot of them misjudged the circumstances. a lot of them thought the president couldn't be re-elected in these circumstances, that no president could be re-elected in these circumstances. that represents a fundamental misjudgment of the economy, the electorate, the demographics of the electorate. >> reporter: the truth is the tide had been turning for president obama. unemployment dipped under 8% in the last two months. but even that was challenged. most notably by former ceo of ge jack welch who suggested a conspiracy theory over the jobs numbers in this tweet, cnn host of reliable sources sees a trend
here. don't like it? deny it. >> people who don't like the way policy is going in this country, they challenge the unemployment numbers, they challenge the polls, remember polls turned out to be right. and in this case they challenged the legitimacy of obama's election. >> reporter: now that the election is in the rearview mirror, many republicans are wondering how did they get it so wrong. and many of the republicans we reached out to for this report, they are still recovering from the bruising campaign and the outcome. and today also many of them were busy on conference calls as they tried to figure out the way forward, wolf. >> interesting stuff. thanks very much. let's dig a little deeper on wlast going on right now. joining us our cnn political contributors the democratic strategist donna brazile, republican strategist mary matalin. mary, you want to quickly respond. how do so many of these republican pundits get it so wrong? >> well, it wasn't just republicans. two of the gold standards of polling, gallup and "the wall street journal," i think the last "the wall street journal"
had in the margin of error and gallup had it up a lot. we have to look back at that. but we also did not understand and we have to fix this. and this is pretty obvious. i don't have to state the obvious. they got their vote out. we didn't get our vote out. he didn't get as many -- romney did not get as many conservatives out as john mccain did. so that's a problem. i wouldn't read more than that into it. and all -- this is all the chattering classes. i never talked to one voter out there who said how should the polls be weighted or anything like that. but we're right. no president's ever won in this kind of economy with this level of unemployment, with this nonrecovery, this much debt, there's just a lot of fundamentals that seemed irrational that this incumbent other than being an incumbent would -- could succeed. >> but there were plenty -- i'll bring donna into this conversation. there are plenty of pundits out there, carl rove not necessarily a pundit but he plays one let's say on tv.
he's a serious political analyst. dick morris, certainly others who were predicting -- who were insisting that a lot of these polls overweighed, donna, the democrats who were in the polls as opposed to the republicans and that's why they suggested these so-called mainstream polls were incorrect. turned out to be the weight of the democrats versus the republicans in the polls pretty much right on. >> i mean, throughout the last two years, wolf, we saw that the number of democrats in terms of registered democrats was increasing while the republicans were static, independents increasing. let's give credit where credit is due. i know we need to spend a lot of time figuring out how to help the republicans heal from their wounds. mary knows how to do that. i don't have to give her any lessons. so here's what i should tell the democrats what they did right. first of all, they learned the lessons of 2008. they went out there and they enlarged the electorate. obama campaign along with many allies and progressive
movements, naacp and others they registered over two million new voters. number two, they targeted people who voted in 2008 but did not vote in 2010 and they had a very sophisticated targeted program that reached those individuals where they live, where they work, where they play and where they pray. and last but most importantly, what they did on election day, they opened up satellite headquarters all throughout the country. so when we saw people standing in those long lines, they encouraged them to stay. they brought them food and bottled water and what have you. this was a very sophisticated campaign. they knew exactly where their targets were and they went after them. >> let me go back to mary. mary, i want to read to you what you wrote on the national review because it's generating a lot of commotion out there. i'll read to you what you wrote about the president. a political narcissistic sociopath leveraged fear and ignorance with a campaign marked by mendacity and malice rather than a mandate for resurgence and reform. instead of using his office to
articulate a vision for future, obama use id it as a character assassination, replete with unrelenting destructive distortion derision and division." a person with a psychopathetic personality, anti- -- lacks moral responsibility or social conscience. mary, is that what you're calling the president of the united states? >> i said the campaign. this was a sociopathic campaign and that it did absolute lima li absolutely maligned mitt romney, ridiculed his wife, distorted his positions, he wasn't against banning birth control. and they divided americans. they did a good turnout job, but they did it by distorting his records, maligning his character and causing fear in people. >> mary, that's romnesia.
that is romnesia. >> he was going to ban birth control -- >> he said he would defunct planned parenthood. that caused a lot of concern. he embraced the personhood amendment. mary, mitt romney had so many self-inflicted wounds. he had an opportunity to go to the middle, go to the center, reach out to independents, reach out to americans, but he decide ds to become a severe conservative. after five years of running and three nights of a republican convention, he decided he had to become a moderate. mitt romney, these are self-inflicted wounds. don't blame it on president obama who is upbeat, optimistic, he's very pragmatic, he has integrity and he ran a very good campaign given the nature of the opposition and all the negativity we've seen. >> all right. we have to go. ladies, very quickly, mary, just forred record, are you saying the president of the united states is a political narciss t narcissistic sociopath? >> i'm saying that campaign was
narcissistic and sociopath. it made a complete spring slaughter on romney. this is all -- they documented they're saying this all they want to do is destroy romney. that's sociopathic. all they want to do is divide and scare america. that's sociopathic. and narcissistic to care more about his re-election than the recovery and the jobs and the spirit and security of america. yes, i stand by that. >> mitt romney ran the most negative campaign and republican primary. >> all right. >> i was at many of those debates. he was not kind and friendly. >> let's continue this conversation. we got to take a break because we have more breaking news developing right now getting new information on general david petraeus' resignation today as head of the cia after acknowledging an extramarital affair. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] what can you experience in a seat?
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we're getting new information right now on the sudden, very surprising dare i say shocking announcement today that the cia director, the retired u.s. army general david petraeus has resigned citing an extramarital affair. our intelligence correspondent suzanne kelly is here. fran townsend is here as well. what are you learning, fran? >> cnn can now confirm from a u.s. official that the fbi had a tip that david petraeus was involved in an extramarital affair. that's the way they would have sort of started an
investigation. the fbi woif been the ones to look into that. the official told us that the fbi counterintelligence unit investigated this to see whether or not there was a potential security risk really whether anyone could have taken this information and blackmailed general petraeus with it, which would have been a security risk. the official says there's no suggestion that the fbi was investigating petraeus for any possible wrong doing but more they were looking at him for potential vulnerability. >> they were looking to see if this affair which he has now acknowledged potentially could have resulted in classified information going to an inappropriate source, is that what you're saying? >> that's one possibility that the fbi looks at when they conduct investigations like this. another would have been if somebody had information on him that they could have used to blackmail him, if you don't do what wi want, we're going to take it public and ruin your career. that's why the fbi stepped in to investigate. >> fran, you know general petraeus as well. you're on the advisory board at the cia. what do you make of this that the fbi had been tipped off and they actually launched an investigation into general
petraeus' extramarital affair? >> the key to what suzanne is saying here is that it's the counterintelligence unit. counterintelligence units look at was this -- was the woman -- the party of the second part in the extramarital affair, was she a foreign agent? if she was an american, was she controlled by a foreign agency? was there some way they were going to use this relationship to get information from him, sensitive classified information? and the way they would get it is just as suzanne says to extort from him the threat to expose him. >> our own kyra phillips is also getting some information. you've been working your sources, kyra, what are you learning? >> well, wolf, just within the past few minutes i spoke with very reliable sources close to petraeus who say the woman who he was having an affair with, an extramarital affair, was not under his command while he was in the military. it was a woman not under his command also at the cia.
i'm learning this from very reliable source, very close to petraeus, wolf, that the woman he was having an affair with was not under his command while in uniform and she was not a member of the armed forces nor a cia employee. wolf, my source also telling me petraeus is extremely disappointed in himself for engaging in dishonorable behavior and that he "screwed up terribly." as for holly petraeus, his wife of 37 years, my source tells me that the general is devastated, wolf, that he hurt her. and he feels she is "far better than he deserves." tough time obviously for the general, wolf. tough time for a man that i worked very closely with in the battlefield. and i have to admit, i am shocked that this happened. this is not an individual that i ever thought would do this. >> and so many people are shocked. and the point about someone who is not in the chain of command, someone not at the cia, under
the military's uniform code of military justice, that would be a crime if he were engaged in a relationship -- a sexual relationship with someone who is junior, for example, in the ranks. that's against the military law, if you will. and so what you're learning right now is that there was the woman -- we don't know who this woman was or is, we don't know who she is that this woman was not in the military and not in the intelligence community. >> that is correct. my sources very close to him say this is a woman that was not under his command in the military when he was in uniform and that this woman that he had an affair with was not a member of the cia. >> kyra phillips with that information. thanks, kyra, for sharing it with our viewers. fran, what do you think? >> well, look, i think what -- you know now, once the fbi is involved in an investigation even a limited one for
counterintelligence purposes, they do the ordinary investigative things. they're going to look at phone records. they're going to look at text messages. they're going to look at e-mail. they're going to look at all sorts of things, one, to identify the woman, and, two, to understand the nature of the relationship to determine for the sole purpose of determining whether or not there's a national security threat. so you be sure there is law enforcement sources now out there who have this information that journalists will be chasing. >> we can only assume this fbi investigation which was triggered a while ago continued for a long time. >> you don't really know sometimes the way these things unfold how long the investigation has been going on. you know, sometimes when you're involved in relationships like this, they could take a bad turn. you have to wonder too, you have to ask yourself about the timeline of this. how long did the affair last? how long was it going on? and why is he coming out now saying he's very sorry and regrets doing it? why didn't those feelings come a bit earlier? and the election of course being this week. i mean, there are a lot of very
interesting questions that still need to be answered and more timelines we should look at. >> more coming up at the top of the hour on this. guys, thanks very much. sad story indeed. patience is running thin in new york right now. there's still no power after the superstorm sandy and various parts of new york and new jersey, we're going to update you on what's going on. i'm glad we got cdw and cisco to design our data center.
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what's the latest in queens, debra? >> this is what we can tell you, here there are no lights. people are angry, frustrated, they can't understand why lipa can't get the lights on. they were serving warm meals here today, but a lot of the volunteers had to leave when sunset came because they have to get out. and the trains are not running here, they can't use the trains, so they were taking buses, a couple people drove, so not only is there no heat, no washers and driers, no way to charge a cell phone to stay in touch with people. this area is effectively cut off, and the people are really feeling it, take a listen. >> the most important thing is power. cuomo, send in the national
guard, we are fed up and we're not going to take it anymore, thank you. >> and wolf, i want to show you, we've been seeing a caravan of balan ambulances used the road, and they said they're beginning to evacuate seniors because there's no power. now balanc ambulances are coming to try to take them somewhere. no power means no oxygen tanks. and the people really do feel like they're in a crisis, and they're asking for lipa to try to do something to get the lights are. >> are they still rationing gas for your car? >> yep, still rationing gas. the refineries got hit where there is no electricity.
they don't work, can't pay, and they're instituting in your opinions, it's very close and the folks are really feeling them. >> my heart goes out to all of them, deb, thank you very much. more on the breaking news general david petraeus resigning after admitting an extramarital affair. what matters? what matters? maybe your bank account is taking too much time and maybe it's costing too much money. introducing bluebird by american express and walmart. your alternative to checking and debit. it's loaded with features, not fees. because we think your money should stay where it belongs. with you. the value you expect. the service you deserve. it feels good to bluebird. get it at your local walmart. is efficiently absorbed in small continuous amounts. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose.
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>> voters in washington state and colorado approved ballot initiatives legalizing marijuana from recreational use. [ cheers and applause ] >> i know my audience. the news brought mixed reaction, starting in the consumer/enthusiast community. >> it means i'm going to smoke a lot of weed tonight! whoo! >> and by the way, what would it mean if you lost the referendum. >> it means i'm going to smoke a lot of weed tonight! >> what would it mean if the broncos beat the panthers on sunday? >> it means i'm going to smoke a
lot of weed tonight. just when we thought that the worst was over, we got hit again. >> a new nor'easter is slamming new york and new jersey. >> yes, a nor'easter. a storm so powerful, it can white out a regions supply of ts and hs. >> and scandal at the cia. the spy chief, david petraeus resigns admitting to an extra mar ma marital affair. and after mitt romney's loss, some republicans think their party needs to stop living in the past. i'm wolf blitzer, and you're in "the situation room." ♪
>> we're learning more about the stunning resignation of the retired army general david petraeus. the fbi was investigating the extra marital affair that led to him stepping down. susan kelly, we know the fbi was investigating petraeus, give us the background. >> we know their counterintelligence unit was investigating to see if there was a potential current risk because of this affair, and whether or not petraeus could have possibly been blackmailed as a result of this. the person that gave us this information also said that petraeus was not being investigated for possible wrong doing, however, it looked like
he put himself in a vulnerable spot where they information could have been exploited or used against him. >> the ramifications of this are enormous. there's an acting director that has now been named, walk us through how this -- and i know you have good sources over there, i'm sure that people have been shocked by this. >> yeah, i think that's almost an under statement. people didn't see this coming. not only did they not see it coming, but it comes a few days after an election. and the reason, i think, is the thing that people are reeling now. they didn't see someone like david petraeus with his reputation, professional reputation, military background, someone who really who is out there as a man of honor and integrity would participate in something like this and that it would come out this way, that the revelation would have come out and led to him stepping down from his post. there is quite a bit of shock in that neighborhood. i will tell you in terms of the
cia, of course the direct sere a politically appointed position. the person who now president obama has asked to step in is the acting director is michael morrell, a career intelligence officer, been with the allegation for some 32 years, so there have been a number of different directors. so the allegation itself won't be too affected in terms of the work. they're under the direction now of mr. morrell. >> president obama had nothing but praise for david petraeus in a statement saying he accepted his regulsignation. >> yeah, so many lingering questions, wolf. a lot of questions about the timing of all of this. for more, let's go to jessica yellin, i know you have been working your sources, what are you learning? >> i can confirm that administration officials were
indeed shocked by this development and i'm told by multiple officials that this is exactly what it is, i know that sounds absurd, but it is not in any way a cover for any other sort of story. the general is in no way taking a fall for some other event that we're not discovering or reporting on. he sin deed stepping down baez of an extramarital affair that was coming out and that we're not going to uncover anything else in the coming days. the president has developed not a close or intimate relationship as friends, but they have a healthy working relationship. he was brought in first when general mccrystal left during the -- just before the afghanistan surge, and he stepped into these shoes taking almost in a sense a demotion to do it, and really filled a role for the president when he needed it. and delivered for him in
afghanistan, and then a second time was called upon to fill panetta's role at the cia last year and has done that again, twice. came and filled when the president called for him to do so. he takes weekly meetings with the president sometimes, and attends his nse principals meetings, they see each other regularly, and i'm told have healthy respect for one another. this is a person the president has, y know, a lot in common with. they're both ivy league graduates, highly competitive people, and it's somebody with whom the president expected to have a long working relationship. the bottom line here, kate, is no one saw this coming. >> sure seems like it, jessica yellin at the white house for us this evening. he is one of the few people in washington that consistently won praise from both sides of the isle. >> he turned 60 years old this week on wednesday was his birthday.
david petraeus was due to testify before congress next week about the deadly attack in benghazi, libya, now michael morrell will appear. david has written about the intelligence communities. first of all, david, what do you make of this. were you stunned like i was? >> it was a shocker when word first began to trickle out about this midday today. it was one of those storys that you just thought whoa, can that be so? and there was a period of several hours of chasing it and trying to confirm it. i think what's striking to me, first off, wolf, is the situation that we see, read about it in books, where a person who, this is really the most prominent military officer of his generation. commander of troops in
afghanistan and iraq, caught up in something that is so human, so much a part of ordinary life, so there is an epic tragic dimension to it on a personal level. in terms of the cia, as your earlier reporting suggested, from a standpoint of the question, there's a good thing there's real continuity. morrell was acting director when petraeus took the job. he is back in that position. he has the confidence of the white house. he is well-known and liked, and there was talk that he might be brought over to the nse staff in a top position. so he is something that i'm sure the president will be comfortable. >> what do you make of the fact that we confirmed that the fbi was investigating the director of the central intelligence
agency, and this affair that he now acknowledged, it's pretty extraordinary. >> it is. in a way, i think that was the inevitable other shoe to drop in this story. somebody's personal life, even a senior key official like the cia director would not force a resignation unless there was some other issue going on, and the fbi investigation suggest there was concern about counterintelligence vulnerabiliti vulnerabilities. i'm sure we'll learn more than we want to know about every detail of this in the coming days. but it was clear there was some additional reason beyond the personal error of judgment that he sited in his letter. >> do you have any reason at all to believe that the timing of this announcement was connected
with his intelligence. -- >> i have no reason to believe that, wolf, and i have some reason to think otherwise. petraeus had endorsed the decision the cia made last week on the eve of the election virtually to release the detailed time line of what happened in benghazi. and that was something that i think the white house was a little uncomfortable with. the cia went ahead with it, i know that had petraeus' blessing. so i don't see as much as people try to weave conspiracy theories, do you think he will be named for confirmation, or will they look for other candidates? >> i'm very curious about that,
i think that morell would be an interesting choice. first, in these agencies, it's good for moral if people have a chance to rise to the top one of the most successful celebrating directors was richard helms. he rose in the ranks, and finally became cia director. it's interesting that director petraeus hung a portrait of him in his reception area where he would greet journalist and other visitors that came to talk to him. so he became a distinguished director. and may may look at morell as that kind of career person. >> when you say an operator, not an analyst -- >> exactly, when i say operator,
i mean operations officer. >> i believe bob gates was an officer that ended up as secretary of defense. >> yes, and a highly celebrated one. i would think, wolf, that one person that president obama would turn to right now, and ask for advice would be bob gates. they have developed a close relationship, and i think the president would be on the phone in the last few days saying secretary gates, what do you think about the agency, and morell. and obama is lucky to have that quality of people to turn to. >> thank you david. two other names we have been hearing is jane harmen, she was on the house intelligence community for a long time. and john prennan, the president's homeland security advisor, he rose up the ranks as well. we'll see what the president
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the president of the united states held a news conference, it wasn't actually a news conference, he spoke a little bit. he will hold a news conference we're toll, and you can bet he will be asked about the cia directors resignation and when he learned of the extramarital affair. >> it will be a big question at that press briefing once he holds it. a big announcement like this just days after the election is the kind of thing that raises a few eyebrows and has a lot of
conspiracy theoryists. >> yes, you had a chance to talk to diane feinstein, and i'm sure she was briefed? >> yes, and she was as shocked as anyone else in washington, and the first thing she pointed out to me is that this is a personal tragedy. she said "people are going to say he's a scapegoat for benghazi, and that is absolutely false." this has nothing to do with benghazi. this is a personal tragedy, and she also said to me, and it's a question you have been discussing throughout the situation room. her question is why was this so sudden. why the timing of this right now? and as this story unravels, i think we will get answers about why he went to the president and why he did is to suddenly.
she has those hearings coming up and now general petraeus will not testify. >> yes, it's a closed hearing about what happened in benghazi, the killing of ambassador stephens, and now the acting director will be stepping in to testify, how can this affect the investigation? it comes at a really bad time. >> she said it's not going to affect it at all. basically she said we're going to hold some very tough hearings, at least three of them and quote, we're going to try to figure out who did what, when, and what was missing. so the fact that petraeus is not there saddens her, she's a big fan of general petraeus, she's sorry that he's gone, but she believes that mike morell will be able to answer the questions they need to get answered. so it will not stop the
congressional investigation. but it was surprising to her that this would happen to quickly. >> it isn't just another headache that the president doesn't need right now. he will lose his secretary of state, defense, the secretary of the treasury, i don't think he was expecting the cia director -- >> sometimes it makes you wonder why they run for second terms. he has the fiscal cliff, then this happens with the cia director, there is always a lot of turnover at the binning of the second term. people get burned out. secretary hillary clinton has not kept it a secret that she plans to leave. the petraeus departure is something they were not planning on. sos that one more headache they have to solve. >> thanks, gloria. speaking of the fiscal cliff, president obama calls for compromise with republicans and is easing fears on wall street
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take a look at some of the other stop stories making news today. >> a lot going on today for a friday. in a moment, we'll go many in depth for the president's call for compromise on automatic tax cuts and hikes. we'll see what the market said about it today. >> the speech did little to soothe wall street. the dow was up nearly 70 points. those gains disappeared as he spoke. a big part of the reason is he
didn't deliver anything new. it was more of a call to action. investors are nerve us about the fiscal cliff and their showing it. the down fell more than 130 points. investors have been moving their money into bonds, and it's a clear sign that wall street wants more, and what it wants is clarity. with no end in sight, fear is crippling wall street. thank you, timothy geithner is staying on to help the president deal with the looming fiscal crisis. the white house saying that he will remain at his post until the presidential inauguration in january. he is the last hold over from the president's original economic team. a lot of turnover happening these days. just two days after a snowstorm tore through the northeast, new york and new jersey are seeing the temperatures rise into the 50s. that is after thousands of people without power from the
nor'easter and superstorm sandy. gas stations are staying open longer, and they can only buy gas on alternate days. >> two weeks these people have suffered in new york and new jersey, still no power. >> it's like the voting thing. >> this the united states of america. >> we're going to talk about the president's call for compromise to keep the nation from plujing off the fiscal cliff. what might a deal with congress look like? to feel real now.startig [ ross ] this is the perfect place to test the ats's advanced aerodynamics. [ derek ] we've got crosswinds, tailwinds, headwinds. aerodynamics is all about keeping the car planted on the road. you are going to get hit by stuff, so don't freak out. [ screaming with excitement ] and move out now. ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats. ♪
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the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. president obama says voters have sent a clear message that will not tolerate dysfunction in washington any more. >> and days after his reelection, he is urging republicans to work with his to avoid i did as it vous automatic spending cuts and tax hikes in the new year, listen here. >> i'm not wedded to every detail of my plan. i'm open to compromise.
i'm open to new ideas. i'm committed to solving our fiscal challenge. but, i refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. if congress fails to come to an agreement on a overall deficit reduction package by the end of the wear, everybody's taxes will automatically go up on january 1st. everybodies. including the 98% of americans that make less than $250,000 a year. that makes to sense. >> let's talk about the dangers of the fiscal cliff, and the possibility of compromise. we're joined by the former president of the club for growth. and steven ratner, advisor to the president obama on the auto bailout and formally wrote for
the "new york times." is there room, based on what you're hearing right now, for a compromise in the next seek w s weeks. >> i think so, nobody wants to dive off this fiscal cliff. i didn't think the president's little talk today, his speech, was all that conciliatory. he said it seemed more like a l club than an olive branch. republicans say if we don't do the fiscal cliff, and we suspend those fending kwut cuts, we want some kind of an agreement in place that we will cut the spending later, we won't just keep letting this debt go up. >> the president repeatedly insists he wants to raise the highest income brackets from the
current 35% rate to what it was in the clinton administration, the 39.6%. the republicans say that's unacceptable, you can have them pay more taxes but not by raising that rate. is there a compromise? >> i think you heard the president say in the clip you just showed that he is open to compromise, open to new ideas, as long as they meet his principals which is that the wealthy bare the burden. and i think there are many ways to accomplish that. that will satisfy post speaker boehner and the president. >> and steve moore, one of the things the president also said today, while they worked towards tax reform, they work towards a larger deal, one thing that congress should agree to right now, is to pass the extension of the bush era tax cuts for the middle class. >> look, i don't think republicans are going to go along with that.
i think they don't want a separation of the tax cuts for the wealthy and the tax cuts for the middle class. that's where i think you get the stair down. i think that's where the republicans say no deal, and then the question, does the president take that to the people and bash the republicans over the head or make another deal. also, all of this overheated rhetoric about the perils of the "fiscal cliff." we have another cliff that's pretty important in this country, and this is that enormous national debt growing by over a trillion dollars a year. the problem with just saying we're not going to do the fiscal cliff, is okay, what are we going to do about this enormous debt. >> let me ask you then, one thing some democrats are saying is maybe we just go over the cliff because we will inherently get a deficit reduction. everyone is talking about. it could be very hard on the
economy. are you sayings that an option? >> are you asking me? >> yeah. >> i think some republicans are saying the spending cuts are what we wanted, but look, i don't think that's going to happen. i just don't think there's going to be news enormous tax increases or cuts. i think they will reach an agreement, and the ball is a little in president obama's cam. >> what about the delinking, he would like to delink the continuing the tax cuts for 98% of the american families out there, and pass that, and the republicans want to hold that as leverage to make sure that the highest income brackets are not increased from 35 to 39%. >> that's what republicans want to do, you can call it leverage or holding it hostage, but that is exactly their strategy. there's no reason not to extend
the tax breaks for the 98% of americans which both sides agree should not be affected by this. and one other comment, steve moor is saying the presidents that to bend, and i turn that right back around to the republicans, they laid down markers and absolutes, i don't think this is a situation where absolutes are called for. both sides need to show flexibility. >> i agree with that entirely, steve. look, both speaker boehner and mitch mcconnell, the minority leader, said in the last few days we're willing to put tax revenue increases on the table. that's a big kmie on republicans that have been staunchly anti-tax in the past. this is a situation where you have to meet in the middle. two years ago we did get a deal where we extended the tax cuts but president obama said the economy is too weak for a tax
increase. what's different today than two years ago. the economy is weaker today than when president obama did this in 2010? >> i think we can certainly talk about when all of these deficit reduction measures took effect because the economy is so week. but we cannot, as you just said, sustain trillion dollar deficits. we now have a lever, a cliff, whatever you want. we have an almost unique moment in time where congress has to do something. i think if we let this moment pass without having meaningful deficit reduction, a year from now or not, i'm open to discussing that. >> we're out of time, but very quickly to you steve moore, i have no doubt personally with the president and the speaker in the room they can work out a deal, can the speaker bring along the tea party members? can he bring others along to make this happen? >> it's tough, it's only a two
or three week session, and i grieve with steve ratner, there's not a whole lot of time to get this resolved. what they normally do in this kind of a situation is they punt on second down. >> that's what they might be doing this time. thank you very much for coming in, guys. cnn's national security contributor, fran thompson is about to join us and offer us her insights on this breaking news about general petraeus resigning today. fran knows him very well from her work on the cia's external advisory board and from the time she was president bush's homeland security advisor. ♪ you make me happy when skies are gray ♪ [ female announcer ] you know exactly what it takes to make them feel better. ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] that's why you choose children's tylenol. the same brand your mom trusted for you when you were young. ♪ how much i love you [ humming ] [ female announcer ] children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade.
get some more news on this afternoon's bomb shell news that general david petraeus has resigned because of an extramarital affair. fran thompson knows him quite well, she is far the of the cia's external advisor board. you must have been stunned. >> i was. most of the folks i know were surprised. >> i guess the moral factor at the cia, they see this happening and i can only imagine their very upset. >> these are people who dealt with the death of their colleagues at coast base. in a broader context they'll move on. it's upsetting, people are embarrassed and it reflects some way on the cia. they'll move on quickly. >> it's now taking on a new
level with confirmation that the fbi launched an investigation into this affair to see if there any any potential compromise of national security. >> that's right, wolf. as we have talked, right, there are certain things the fbi does. they will look at e-mails and all sorts of information, especially that exchange between general petraeus and whoever the woman is. they would have done a very comprehensive investigation to make sure there was no leak of classified information. >> we're also hearing that david petraeus submitted his letter of resignation yesterday. is that the first time the president is learning about this affair and what's going on? especially if there was an investigation? >> absolutely not. there's a process that in the rare circumstance that the fbi
has to open up an investigation of a member of the cabinet or a senior member of the investigation, in this case, it likely went to the director of national intelligence, jim clapper, who would have had an obligation to inform someone at the white house. this is somebody who is regularly in the company of the m.d. more than likely it would have been the national security advisor or john brennan. >> so if you look at the benghazi investigation, he was supposed to testify next week, i think you were helping him get ready, he's not going to testify, and now mike morell will, but he still has an obligation to cooperate to make sure congress and the american public knows exactly what happened. >> exactly, and what we have seen from the tone of his letter to resigning to the president is
the consummate professional. i have no reason to think that he would not make himself available. the cia obviously had a role there in benghazi, and i expect if there is information, it should by and large be able to be communitied by mike morell, but i have no reason to think -- >> and you've known him for a very long time and know him better than many people, but where do you, maybe it's too soon to be asking this, but where do you think he goes from here? this is a man who had such a distinguished military career, is well liked by people on both sides of the aisle, and this is not the way to end your public service career. >> it's not, but because, for all of the reasons that you speak of, i expect he will be just fine. he will have board opportunities, speaking opportunities, he can write a book. i think that he will have many
opportunities. he may not, look,s th there's b some talk he wanted to lead an academic institution, they may have a lower tolerance given the way he's left. but i think if he wants to do other things in the private sector, he will have many opportunities. >> in normal circumstances he would have been a lock for the president. >> yeah, president clinton, newt gingrich, they all go on and do just fine. >> thank you, fran, for doing that. the second guessing goes on about the reasons for mitt romney's defeat. we'll talk about the state of the republican party and whether it's stuck in the past. diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
right now republicans are a wash in theories about why mitt romney lost the presidency. >> some party members are raising concerns that the gop is stuck way, way in the past. let's bring in the former bush speech writer, david frum. what's the answer? why did mitt romney lose? >> he is not lose because of just a bad campaign or defects as a candidate. let's start with this fact. since 1988 there have been six presidential elections. now you look from 1968 to 1988, the republicans won five of those elections, and over the whole six, including the defeat, averaged 52.5% of the vote. so a mar jorty party from 1968 to 1988.
and in a year like 2010, they do well because the electorate drops. in 2010, just to dramatize this, the republicans did great in 2010, but 35% of the voters were over the age of 60. only 15% of the voters in 2012 were older voters. >> here is what you write in the book, after the 2008 election, such calls for rethinking were shelved for the back to the basics message of the tea party. now it's time to return to the path of reform and rethink what republicans and conservatives explored in the latest bush years. what were they exploring? >> they were exploring new ideas about how to raise middle class incomes. they were exploring new ideas about how to be responsible about the environment. are there ways to use markets to deal with carbon emissions. they were exploring the problems
of a society where upward mobility seems to have slowed for a lot of people. the basic problem with the tea party since 2008, is the republicans are recycling ideas from the 1980s, and what those ideas were for was how to stop the soviet union, inflation, and productivity. those are no longer problems. what's not doing great is the incomes of the middle class. >> david, i have to play you something you said in an interview this morning and get your reaction. >> the problem with republican leaders is their cowards. the conservative followership has been lied to by the entertainment complex. >> explain that point, what are you talking about here. >> let me start with that
dramatic fact. there is a college in new jersey that does these surveys. people that watch fox news end those who watch no news. in you start with a basic question, did taxes go up or down, did we spend a trillion dollars a year on welfare? no, but if you watch a lot of these network, you get the idea that you do. you can't think about world around you and where leaders are trapped, they know the truth. but they can't act on it because they have followers who have been given a false impression of the state of the world. >> are you talking about monmouth college in new jersey? >> i'm sorry, blanking on it. >> they do polls there, what are you talking about when you refer
to the conservative entertainment complex? >> that means that there is a big industry of cable, famous fox network, talk radio and websites that don't do a clear division between the job of informing people and entertaining people, that turn news and information into a sub is the of information. there's a market for it, entertaining to watch and it gets people excited, wu when it actually becomes the main way people understand the world around them, it gives them a false sense and traps their leaders. mitt romney pivoted to the center only in the last month of the election and he began to do quite well. he was not allowed to do it before and even when he pivoted to the center, he only did it on form, not policy, because people around him were so certain that president obama was doomed. i started work on my book six weeks ago. it seemed obvious to me president obama was not doomed.
he probably was going to win. that information that was available to me was available to the much smarter people who predicted it the wrong way. >> did you write this in 24 hours? >> why obama lost, gone with either book. but you suspected romney would loose. >> the book is "why romney lost," an ebook. thanks for writing it. >> thank you. a boy who dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. that dream shattered by the violence in syria. his dream now to come to america. arwa damon has a special report. that has around 50% wer 2 emissions than coal. and it's also why, with our partner in brazil, shell is producing ethanol - a biofuel made from renewable sugarcane. >>a minute, mom! let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go.
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in turkey over a 24-hour period. they were fleeing fierce fighting near the border towns. syrians of all aunlgs are living with the scars of war. we have a special report from arwa damon. it con tapes pictures some viewers find disturbing. z >> like many other boys his age, this 11-year-old wanted to be a professional soccer player when he grew up, but like so many others in syria, the violence shattered his dream. >> he doesn't say much beyond that. at times, simply nodding. or smiling sweetly in response. or seemingly lost in his
memories. tears fall silently, the thoughts of what his baby brother endured are too much for the 21-year-old. >> mom woke me up. up immediately. what's happening? she said -- their plan is circulating above and you need to get him back to the house. >> he was too late. he found his brother in the hospital. >> once he saw me, he shouted, omar, shouted with all his strength. when i got closer, i saw his leg. he just yelled, i started crying for around five hours. >> his leg was amputated in a makeshift field hospital, the basement of a mosque. >> after he woke up, just saying i was crying. he said please don't cry. if you love me, don't cry.
>> and that is when omar made him a promise, that he would walk again. >> he started to hang on to that idea. so, i'm going out and he get saying to me, when are we leaving? yeah, because every time the firing jet comes, he says, when are we leaving? we should leave. >> he is now an expert at changing his brother's bandages. he started to save money for a prosthetic, but realized the it was going to take too much time. he began asking around and a group of visiting egyptian doctors told him about the global medical relief fund, a small u.s. ngo dedicated to helping children badly injured in war zones. its founder, quick to respond, but first, the brothers have to get to turkey.
a car drove them as close to the border as it could. the driver's last words, you're on your own now. omar's arms were aching as he carried his brother and their three bags across the muddy field. the brothers eventually made their way to ankora in turkey, but the boys don't have passports, their visas were denied and now, they're waiting to see if the state department will grant them humanitarian parole. for omar, watching his brother suffering is agonizing. >> he had nightmares. the one thing he's going to get this time, i think to be aware. to grow up, his mind.